Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Muesli Musings

"What is the difference between granola and muesli?" I wondered one day over a hastily packed lunch of one or the other.

"Granola is for hippies and muesli is for Euro-trash," answered a quick-witted friend.

And it turns out he was right, mostly. Both are basically a mix of grains such as rolled oats, with fresh and/or dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Moistened with milk or yogurt - vegans can of course use non-dairy versions - either one makes a quick, tasty, filling and nutritious breakfast (or other meal). The main difference I've found, other than the hippie/Euro-trash divide, is that granola is usually baked and crispy, while muesli is raw.

Pre-packaged granola and muesli can be found in grocery and health-food stores everywhere. But it's also very easy and fun to mix up your own. The Meatout Mondays e-mail recently had a recipe for Very Berry Muesli. With the local strawberry crop starting to come in, this is a great opportunity to put them to use. Here is the recipe from the newsletter:

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups nondairy milk (soy, rice, or almond milk)
1 peach or nectarine, diced
2 apricots or plums, diced
1 cup berries (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, etc.)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)

Mix oats and nondairy milk together in large bowl.
Set aside the mixture while you prepare fruit (you can also save in refrigerator overnight).
Combine all ingredients.
Eat immediately or refrigerate for later (will keep for several days).

And, now that the granola vs. muesli question is settled, I’m looking for an answer to a pressing question that another friend and I have been discussing: What is the difference between a highball and a cocktail?


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